A university degree tailored to budding property managers, estate agents and real estate developers will launch next year at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Property managers, however, are not fussed whether a potential recruit boasts a degree or not, but consider such experience would be handy mainly when dealing with strata.
The degree, a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Property Economics and Development, has been designed for students to take away a solid foundation in law while choosing an elective related to their desired field of employment.
Prospective students will take away a full law degree enabling entry into a legal profession, with the property electives covering development, evaluation, analysis, portfolio management and facilities management.
USC School of Law Professor Pamela O’Connor said the degree allows students who wish to specialise in property management and real estate transactions to combine legal knowledge with the existing property management course.
Ms O’Connor said the university has combined the existing Bachelor or Property Economics and Development with a Law degree, adding those that complete the degree will leave with the same credentials as someone studying law and will be able to take on a number of in-house accounts roles with a good property management aspect.
“In a private real estate firm or legal practice graduates will know a lot more about planning, building and management, so any problems don’t get to the litigation stage,” Ms O’Connor said.
“We are setting things up so once they are professionals they will find ways to use it as most graduates tend to shape the ways in which these opportunities develop and create their own positions to harness their skills.
“There are not many of these courses around – the only other one is at Deacon university.”
Property manager Bernie Mitchell from Focus Property Management said he doesn’t see a lot of benefit in such a degree but added anything that educates someone more about an industry is worthwhile, and a good property manager is already aware of tenant rights and legislation.
“A vast majority of property managers don’t have university degrees but that doesn’t stop them having an excellent understanding of the law,” Mr Mitchell said.
“I don’t think a university degree puts anyone in a better class or gives them more ability to perform a role because it is a level playing field already.
“From what I know from dealing with some strata, they already spend a good amount of time in court for buildings they manage for various reasons, and having someone with a greater understanding of the law would help them with that.”